His Time Now

These are strange times for senior Terrance Henry.

When media pundits make projections of Ole Miss' upcoming basketball season, his name is almost always brought up first. Chris Warren and Zach Graham are gone, the two having graduated. He's the team leader now.

"I was expecting this, but Chris and Zach had been here for so long," he said. "It just felt like it was their team forever, but now they're gone. They're just passing the torch on down."

He is keeping his same approach from previous seasons. He sees no reason to change, really, this being his last season and all. Still, Henry is the player being looked to for leadership. This is his team. He has to carry it.

"I feel like I really don't have to change much, it just depends on who you're talking to," Henry said. "With your teammates, it depends on who it is. If it's a freshman, you may have to get on them a lot. If it's an upperclassmen, you might not have to do that, ‘cause they already know what to do.

"It's going to be strange going out there without (Warren and Graham). But I feel like between the people we have coming in and the people we got here, we can fill their shoes."

Terrance Henry
File Photo
Henry went back home to Monroe, La., for a month and a half before returning to campus June 29 -- a day prior to the beginning of the second summer semester. His arrival coincided with that of Maurice Aniefiok, the fourth of five signees to begin team-related activities this summer.

As he stepped on the floor on his first day back, he had to ask some of his fellow veteran teammates who the many new faces were. He'll soon be leading a completely revamped roster.

Ole Miss head coach Andy Kennedy has added seven players since the conclusion of last season.

"This has to be the biggest team I've played on," Henry said.

"When we were shooting around (on the first day back), everybody was just standing under the rim, and I was just realizing how really big we were. That's going to play to our advantage once the season rolls around."

So far, the newcomers have impressed Henry, especially freshman point guard Jarvis Summers of Jackson, Miss. Summers is one of the many players soon to be competing for the starting job at point guard long held by Warren.

"Jarvis, he's a pure point guard. He's a master in the pick and roll, from what I saw my first time playing with him," Henry said. "Jamal Jones, he brings some versatility to the wing, and whenever Snoop (Ladarius White) gets here, he's a good shooter. We've got a lot of good pieces in the back court."

Another of those "good pieces" is Jelan Kendrick, who transferred to Ole Miss from Memphis in January. Kendrick will be eligible to play in December or, more specifically, after the conclusion of the fall semester.

Kendrick joins sophomore Dundrecous Nelson and junior Nick Williams as the veterans in the back court. But, for the most part, the guards are inexperienced. Kendrick has yet to play a minute of college basketball.

Terrance Henry
File Photo
"Dun, he got a lot of experience last year," Henry said. "He showed a lot of flashes of what he can do. Jelan, there's going to be a lot expected out of him, just because he was a McDonald's All-American. We got Nick coming back; he'll be a reliable player.

"We've just got to make it easy for our newcomers, ‘cause for the first time in a long time, the front court is the most experienced. We're going to have to lead the team until the young guys get their feet wet, get ready and know what's going on."

Probably more than anyone, though, Henry has to produce. His offensive output is important.

Henry started 32 of Ole Miss' 34 games last season, averaging 9.7 points (third-best on the team) and 6.0 rebounds, good for 20th in the Southeastern Conference.

"Individually, I just want to progress as a player," he said. "I've progressed every year since I've been here. This is my last year. I have to make it my best and just lead this team. We haven't been to the NCAA tournament. If we don't go, that's a failure for me as a player at Ole Miss. That's my main goal.

"I was looked at last year as somebody to go to when we needed a basket, but coach was always telling me how I needed to be more consistent. I feel like the last few games, I was consistent with my play. Hopefully that carries over into next season."

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